I had the honor of writing an article for DTS Magazine this fall and wanted to share it with those of you who pop in over here. I am grateful for an opportunity to testify of the healing power of God…
I’ve gone through some dark seasons in my life. Hardship and heartache have evolved into uninvited companions who have stayed far longer than I would have ever chosen. Depression, loss, sickness, and betrayal are all chapters in my story. Over the course of my life, I have learned that God has a purpose for all of these things, and I feel confident of his call to walk with others in their pain.
Like the outset of any semester, I have always felt eager for a new beginning and a fresh start. With coffee in hand, I enter the classroom and walk straight toward the front row. Even at forty years old, the first day of school feels exciting.
This particular day, my fourth first day of school at DTS, things seemed no different. Like always, the white screen on my laptop awaits the paragraph of notes I will take once class starts—a blank canvas that expects something beautiful. Anticipation fills my heart. And I know God will do something new in me.
During the first few months in trauma class, I realized that I knew someone who could identify with every topic discussed in class. Behind every PowerPoint, I saw the faces of those personally affected by abuse. As I listened to the detailed descriptions of the exploitation of little children, my stomach churned. I thought of those I know whose childhoods were similarly robbed from them and the overwhelming confusion and unfair consequences many of them continue to wrestle with in their lives.
When I had to study and discuss the effects of rape, I thought of loved ones who have experienced this kind of evil and who continue to battle the pervasive thoughts of the horror forced upon them—friends who live in fear and struggle with shame and confusion.
All of this proved more than a lecture because this is the reality of many people I know. I felt uneasy, but the information deepened my level of empathy and gave me new insight into the lives of those I love and cherish.
A significant lesson came during a discussion on psychological abuse and the effects of narcissism. I know—all too well—the hurt and shame of what dishonesty and manipulation can do. In fact, some of my deepest wounds over the years have resulted from people I trusted in the church. When I sought help…